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THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME -- FOR THE OFFICE

 THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME -- FOR THE OFFICE
 TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- With the average commute


time on the rise and corporate layoffs increasing industry-wide, it's no wonder many people are opting to stay home these days. But that doesn't mean they're not working.
 According to a recent study by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA), more than 36 percent of all U.S. households now contain a home office or dedicated office-type work space. In fact, industry experts estimate there are 34 million home office workers -- a number that is expected to reach 40 million by 1995.
 Although home offices may house businesses as diverse as plumbing and publishing, most are similar in the equipment they require.
 "The average home office should be equipped with, at minimum, a computer or typewriter and an answering machine," said Jim Oblak, vice president of marketing for PhoneMate, a leading marketer of telephone answering devices and cordless phones. "A one-time investment in these two items will yield significant gains in efficiency."
 But achieving efficiency at home goes beyond the right equipment. Many experts also recommend establishing a separate room for the home office to avoid distractions.
 Kathy Rooks-Denes operates her Gardena, Calif.-based business out of converted work room attached to her garage.
 "It's easier to separate your business and personal lives if work materials are kept in the office and not throughout the house," said Rooks-Denes.
 She recently headed home to establish K&L WordCraft, a freelance editing and writing company, after her publishing company relocated to New York.
 "I decided to put my skills to work for myself, instead of for someone else," she said. "Working at home allows me to set my own work schedule and hours."
 According to the EIA, 16 percent of those with a home office use it in the same way Rooks-Denes does -- for self-employment. The majority (41 percent) use their home office equipment for recreational and educational purposes; 23 percent bring overflow work home; 12 percent do freelance work at home; and 8 percent do full-time work at home for an employer.
 Mike Anson falls within this latter category. As the co-host of a network radio program and co-author of a syndicated automotive column, Anson writes and interviews from his home office in Redondo Beach, Calif. Although he uses a variety of equipment, Anson considers his answering machine his most important home office tool.
 "The answering machine permits me to write without worrying about answering phone calls," he said. "I can screen calls with my PhoneMate, and if it's urgent information for a story I'm working on, I can take the call right away."
 PhoneMate's newest answering machine also helps home office workers organize business and personal calls. PAM-2 (the Private Answering Machine with integrated telephone) brings the privacy and accuracy of voice mail directly into the home office by eliminating the need to go through one's personal messages or other household members' messages to collect business calls.
 Up to three PAM-2 units and a primary answering machine can be combined on a single phone line via a room's phone jack. This combination forms a personalized household/business message system for the home office, allowing callers to leave separate messages for family members or business associates.
 "As the number of home office workers continues to grow, we are going to see more and more products aimed at streamlining home operations," Oblak said.
 And with the home office category booming, it may be that the ideal home of the future has three bedrooms, two baths and a business license.
 -0- 9/9/92
 /CONTACT: Suzanne Nastaskin or Liz Finnigan of Bob Thomas & Associates, 310-314-6600, for PhoneMate/ CO: PhoneMate ST: California IN: HOU CPR SU:


SM -- NYCFNS8 -- 7299 09/09/92 06:53 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 9, 1992
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